Tesla's Shanghai assembly plant to be completed in May: government official

Roman Schwartz
March 8, 2019

China's customs authority has suspended customs clearance procedures for Model 3 cars built by Tesla Inc, the financial publication Caixin reported on Tuesday.

China is now holding around 1,600 Tesla Model 3s at the customs in Shanghai and the customs authority has issued a notice prohibiting the sale of any Model 3 already imported in China because some vehicles have been found to lack proper labeling to make them legal on the Chinese market, financial outlet Caixin reported on Tuesday.

Shanghai Customs is now holding 1,600 of the brand's Model 3 cars, after some of the vehicles lacked product labels that would make them legal on the Chinese market.

"Sales of Model 3 in the country are not impacted, and we continue to deliver Model 3 vehicles that have already been processed".

Producing cars locally is also likely to help Tesla minimize the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war, which has forced the auto maker to lower prices of its U.S. -made cars in China - which has becoming increasingly important as the company seeks to offset softening demand in the United States.

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Tesla's first vehicle was its Roadster sports auto.

A total of 1,171 Model 3 sedans arrived at north China's Tianjin Port, after 84 such cars were imported via the port in February, China's state news agency Xinhua reported here on Tuesday.

The U.S. electric carmaker broke ground on the Shanghai factory in January and its CEO Elon Musk has said the firm aims to finish initial construction this summer and start production of the Model 3 toward the end of the year. Initially, the Model 3 release was scheduled for March.

Tesla offered for the first time a $35,000 version of its Model 3 last week and said its global sales would now be online-only, steps created to increase demand and cut overhead costs for the company.

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